Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the 51 Americans had been
targeted for what it called “terrorism” and human rights violations.
The step lets Iranian authorities seize any assets they hold in Iran, but the
apparent absence of such assets means it will likely be symbolic.
The ministry said in a statement carried by local media that
the 51 had been targeted for “their role in the terrorist crime by the
United States against the martyred General Qassem Soleimani and his companions
and the promotion of terrorism and violations of fundamental human
Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, the overseas
arm of the elite Revolutionary Guards, was killed in Iraq in a drone strike on
Jan 3, 2020, ordered by then President Donald Trump.
Those added to Iran’s sanctions list included US General
Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former White House
national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
In a similar move announced a year ago, Iran imposed
sanctions on Trump and several senior US officials over what it called
“terrorist and anti-human rights” acts.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking on the second
anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination, said this week Trump must face trial
for the killing or Tehran would take revenge.
The Trump administration rained sanctions down on Iranian
officials, politicians and companies after withdrawing the United States in
2018 from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran and the United States are currently holding indirect
talks in Vienna on salvaging the 2015 deal.